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Rod Cowper

Partner Dispute Resolution

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 4887


The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law FirmsRod has more than 30 years’ experience in commercial litigation and international arbitration in London and other cities and offshore financial centres. His arbitration experience includes arbitrations under the Rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of international Arbitration (LCIA), Singapore Institute of Arbitration and Conciliation (AAIC), the International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (VIAC) and the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) as well as ad hoc references and court applications related to arbitrations. He has conducted litigation in all commercial divisions of the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Privy Council. He regularly works with lawyers in the major offshore centres to manage litigation there, often as part of coordinated multi-forum disputes, including arbitration.

Rod represents debtors, secured lenders and other creditors, trustees and insolvency practitioners (including liquidators, provisional liquidators, administrators and court-appointed receivers) in a wide range of banking, insolvency, security, derivatives and inter-creditor issues. He acted for the London branch of Landsbanki following the Icelandic banking crisis, advising on a wide variety of trading and derivative claims and the first High Court case to apply the European regime for cross-border financial institution insolvency. He has a particular experience gained in defence of claims on cross-border guarantees given by financial institutions.

Throughout his career, he has handled a variety of fraud and asset recovery claims using receivership, asset freezing, disclosure, and search and seizure in England and other countries. Often arising post-acquisition in a cross-border investment context, they characteristically involve the analysis and challenge of questionable, sham or fictitious transactions and claims arising out of wrongdoing by former executives under numerous different laws. This frequently requires review of complex corporate structures and networks of apparently genuine commercial and banking transactions having the effect of concealing, by transfer pricing and other techniques, the true financial effect of illicit asset disposal.

His experience covers a wide variety of contractual commercial disputes, including major asset and share purchases, telecommunications, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, up and down stream issues in the energy and base and precious metals industries, often involving complex issues of private international law and jurisdiction.

Rod is a CEDR accredited mediator and regularly guides client’s successfully thorough mediation.

Representative Experience

  • Acting as principal advocate through one week trial in VIAC arbitration successfully defending a guarantee claim made by a Fortune 100 company against a Central European financial institution.
  • Defending Eastern European bank against a London High Court claim made by a Western European financial institution on a bank guarantee.
  • Acting as principal advocate for a Fortune 1000 company successfully resisting claims in linked ICC arbitration arising out of agreements for developing a manufacturing facility in the Middle East.
  • Acting as principal advocate in ICC arbitration proceeding in Hong Kong concerning supply of defective clean technology equipment.
  • Defending Lebanese airline against a claim in London High Court relating to an aircraft sale contract.

Career History

Partner, Teacher Stern

Partner, Edward Wildman Palmer

Partner, Squire Sanders & Dempsey